As it’s almost December, we can talk gifts, right? And if you’re anything like me, Christmas is ALL about the kids…so we’ve scrolled through the ENTIRE* world wide web and found some ACE buys for the youngest of intrepid travellers. There’s so much mass produced rubbish out there, so I’ve tried REALLY hard to find gift ideas that support the indie’s and thoughtful giving whilst also being easy on the finances.
Happy Christmas shopping!
*not factually accurate but the number of tabs I have open right now, it feels like I’ve read all of the internet.
Simply For Flying My Flight Logbook
What is it? Perfect for kiddies who spend large amounts of time hopping on and off planes seeing the world. This handy little passport sized logbook lets them keep a record of their journeys, and if you’re lucky might bag them a sneaky invite into the cockpit as the pilot and crew fill it in…
Delivery info: Ships internationally from the website, however there is also a handy list of stockists available to buy the logbooks in real life
Anything else? Started up by serial expat-er Bronwyn in 2013, over 3000 My Flight Logbooks are now winging their way around the world with mini jetsetters. Also, big thumbs up from me that they’re so nifty (passport sized!). They’ve made it into two stockings here this Christmas, but shhhhh don’t tell!
ZINC FLYTE SCOOTER SUITCASE
What is it? Is it a scooter or is it a suitcase? Not a trick question. After a few years of doing battle with Trunki's on ferrys and flights, we are just about ready to upgrade. I don't know who's more excited about this next stage of childhood to be honest. Putting the fun in functional, these are cabin sized suitcases that come with the added bonus of a scooter that folds out. So less dragging them along with kids on top and more trying to keep up with kids whizzing through airports instead. Still not completely foolproof parenting, but definitely a move in the right direction. If they could also pack and unpack themselves, that would be great.
Delivery: International delivery is available (woohoo!), contact their customer services for more info
Anything else? The Maxi Flyte (for age 8+) is due in 2018, and they've won a scoop of awards recently, so this is a small brand going places - literally and figuratively!
MUDPUPPY KIDS' TRAVEL JOURNAL
What is it? Ummm....once again the clue's in the name. It's a travel journal. For kids. With a new page for every new adventure, and questions to answer such as "What I Did", "What I Saw" and "Where and What I Ate" it's totally appropriate for kids that actually don't hop on and off planes regularly. It's about appreciating adventures and recording memories. Bonus points for the packing list and other useful info! An excellent way to get reluctant little one's writing too. And it's super affordable...
Delivery: The Mudpuppy website only ships to North Ameria (tsk!) BUT they are stocked on Amazon etc, and if you're really struggling to find a stockist, Mudpuppy do their utmost to help you out themselves, so thumbs up for that.
Anything else? Not the sweet little indie brand it used to be (acquired by The McEvoy Group in 2012), but still lovely and offers a great range of kiddie toys, books, stationary, journals etc. One to spot in museum shops, it's that kind of a brand.
KEEP EM QUIET ULTIMATE TRAVEL PACK FOR KIDS
What is it? A goody bag stuffed FULL of kiddie fun- you can choose the contents by selecting gender, age and time period of entertainment required. Primarily designed for journeys with kids, although I have been known to crack them out during the dreaded jetlag and whilst suffering from an adult headache. Even if you're not travelling this Christmas, they would be ace for a quiet Boxing Day indoors when the novelty of new toys and non-stop telly has worn off.
Delivery info: Available worldwide (but be warned- pricey shipping / courier costs which aren't Keep Em Quiet's fault, but can double the price of a pack). Check the website for details, or drop them an email to check but they're super about getting quotes, communicating with customers and providing that amazing level of service that independents need to do well.
Anything else? Theo Paphitis (him off of Dragons Den in the UK) rates Keep Em Quiet....as do all my favourite family travel bloggers and instamums
VTECH KIDIZOOM DUO CAMERA
What is it? I mean, the clue's in the name. But just in case you're still wondering, it's a camera. For kids. Not exactly revolutionary, ok fine. But it's highly rated by the techies, and saves your iphone from being pawed by little people who want to take pics and vids of "memories". So win-win. Down side is it only comes in blue or pink, so a little predictable.
Delivery: Depends where you purchase it from (Amazon, Argos etc all sell it, if in doubt find VTech stockists)
Anything else? Ok so I do feel like I have to hold my hands up to this one. I try where and when I can to promote smaller, independant businesses and brands. VTech doesn't really fall into that bracket. If anyone knows of any independent kiddie appropriate photo-taking tech please let me know. But for now, this one does the job just fine.
CHASING TINY HUMANS WORLD MAP WALL STICKER
What is it? A wall sticker of the world, with major seas, oceans and continents labelled, along with a small selection of wildlife associated with those places. It's not the most detailed map, and older kiddies will probably want something more informative. But for little ones, and for those living in rentals (and unable to decorate with paint or wall paper), wall stickers like this add much needed colour and personality to bedrooms walls. Perfect for adding labels to of places you've been / will go to / want to go to. For a similar idea for older kids keep scrolling down....
Delivery: Ships internationally
Anything else? I will not be held responsible if you go clicking elsewhere on this website because there are SO many brilliantly thought out items. I know. But it's not my fault.
OXFAM GIVE A GIFT
What is it? So this is the perfect gift for kids (and adults) who have it all already, or who aren't really into "stuff". Basically that can be summarised to be everyone. Simply put, you select a "gift" from school supplies, to mozzie nets, to emergency shelters, livestock, medical supplies, toilets etc. And then your gift recipient gets a lovely card from Oxfam telling them all about it.
Delivery: You can do it all online, and have the card mailed directly to the recipient, or to yourself, or have it emailed for printing. So that's pretty handy.
Anything else? Who doesn't want to receive a toilet dedication for Christmas? But just in case, pop over to the Oxfam website to read about the difference a gift that keeps on giving actually makes.
BUNDLE BEDS FOR A DECENT NIGHT'S SLEEP
What is it? The luxe option for camping / adventuring / sleepovers, Bundle Beds are actually for the whole fam. Don't let a bad nights sleep get in the way of getting out and about in the world and having fun. Easy to chuck in the back of the car for a weekend roadtrip, compact for storing and - praise the Bundle God's - machine washable.
Delivery: Ships internationally!
Anything else? Lucy, aka chief Mama Bundle, featured on The Expat Mama Meets this year to share her story of living in Borneo, having a baby and being a business woman. Check it out here!
SCRATCH THE WORLD MAP PRINT
What is it? Definitely more suited to older kids (or very closely supervised younger kids), this map of the world lets you uncover the countries you've visited. Just use a coin (included!) to scratch away and unveil a very stylish looking world map, one country at a time. This is obviously the version you put up on a wall at home, but there is a travel size available too.
Delivery: International shipping is available!
Anything else? Maps International have a superb range of all things cartography related and suitable for all ages and interests. The glow in the dark map and make your own globe craft kit both look pretty tempting too...